I was recently talking with the owner of a fairly well-known content brand in Second Life, who shared some jaw-dropping stats with me:
- 200-250 unique users engage with the brand's content on a daily basis
- And from that usage, the brand earns over $5,000 USD a month
And no, I won't say what kind of content the brand is selling, except to say that no, it's not virtual porn. It's notable in itself that this brand is earning revenue that's equivalent to an upper-middle class income in the US.
But even more than that, it stresses a point that recently occurred to me -- one that will become more and more important as Sansar goes commercial: Based on what we know, it's likely that Second Life content creators -- most of them grass roots developers and small, 1-5 person outfits -- are now making more money from Second Life than Linden Lab, Second Life's actual owner.
- In 2015, Linden Lab's CEO reported that users were cashing out $60,000,000 yearly from the Second Life economy.
- From what we know based on constant land tier attrition, Linden Lab is probably grossing around $50,000,000 annually in revenue from Second Life (give or take).
Only last month, I estimated the company and its users were earning about equal revenue from SL, but it looks like the latter is doing better. (And grassroots content creators generally don't have to rent an office or help cover expenses like transportation costs, as Linden does!)
It's an unexpected outcome for both the company and the users, and is the flip side to all the customers complaints about Linden Lab's high land tier costs. Overall and in aggregate, the users are getting the better end of the deal.
And as Linden Lab prepares to launch Sansar, the company should probably be concerned about this disparity (if it isn't worried already): For Sansar to succeed, they'll likely need many SL content creators to set up shop in Sansar. But if these creators are already doing quite well in SL, thank you very much, what's their incentive to invest much time and resources into a new, untested world?